Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, World Music, Pop
Akin to the Red Army Chorus in raggle-taggle folk rock mode, this Leeds, England sextet is a cross-cultural eye-opener. Rather more serious-minded than it sounds, they critique (in what is most likely Ukrainian) the old co... more »
Akin to the Red Army Chorus in raggle-taggle folk rock mode, this Leeds, England sextet is a cross-cultural eye-opener. Rather more serious-minded than it sounds, they critique (in what is most likely Ukrainian) the old communist order ("Polityka"), hail its achievements ("Slava") and slam the running dog capitalists ("UkrainAmerica"). As a bonus, True North has tacked on the band's celebrated EP of Smiths covers--a conceptually brilliant East European take on Morrissey's mightiest mopes. --Jeff Bateman
This album just plain rocks
Wesley S. O'Brien | 01/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Ukrainians' music can at times be very dark and heavy, but for the most part, this album (as their others) is all about having fun. If you understand Ukrainian, give in to your language and embrace this CD, but if you don't know Ukrainian, just sit back and enjoy the emotions."
Kultura reiview from a 14- year old kid.
Wesley S. O'Brien | South St. Paul, MN USA | 04/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one hell of an album! More modern than "The Ukrainians, Kultura is still god with probally the best being Ukraineamerica. Funny, most Ukrainians resent Communism."
A critique of Jeff Bateman's critique
John Herring | Medicine Hat, Alberta | 05/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"..."Kultura" is really a protest of the Communist-mired political, social, and economic order of the immediate post-independence period in Ukraine; which (may have) ended with the Orange Revolution.
What "UkrainAmerica" really says is "The Ukrainians" are against any outside cultural hegemony over Ukraine; be it official Moscow-directed "Russification" in the past, or overwhelming American popular culture in the present. In any case, as the song progresses, Western pop and Ukrainian folk merge into one sound. They even managed to put the opening bars of the Ukrainian national anthem in there!
In the same vein, "Slava" (Glory [to the Dnipropetrovs'k Women's Builders' Association!]), is blaming the old system (continued in the early independence period) for not putting the workers first in a supposed "worker's paradise". The old economic order collapsed under its own weight in 1993.
"Polityka" (Politics) is about "the new breed" of a few post-independence Ukrainian politicians who promised impossible things of a state-directed bankrupt economy such as more jobs and higher salaries, then ("surprise, surprise") did not deliver.
Exhibit A: Pavlo Lazarenko, former Ukrainian Prime Minister (#2 in the chain of command, akin to the United States' Vice President), currently imprisoned in San Francisco, Calif., fighting extradition to Ukraine to face corruption and money-laundering charges. Before the US arrested him, he was living quite comfortably in the San Fran area in a million dollar mansion with a pool, several chandeliers, and a BMW parked out front.
Mr. Bateman could have mentioned "Kievskiy Express", which sings about two things: the dillema of emigration (leaving one's homeland) for a better life elsewhere; and the dichotomy of children of immigrants - growing up with two cultures (Ukrainian and Western), debating which one is paramount and feeling attached to both. He could also have mentioned the two "semi-live" tracks on this album, "Tsyhanochka" [a traditional Ukrainian song], and "Spivaye Solovey" (What Difference Does It Make), where "The Ukrainians" are joined and cheered on by members of Britain's Ukrainian community.
Tunes Worth Listening for the Message: "Polityka", "UkrainAmerica", "Kievskiy Express", "Slava"
Tunes Worth Listening for the Music: "Europa" (Europe), "Ya" ("I"), "Tsyhanochka", "Batyar", "Koroleva Ne Pomerla", "Spivaye Solovey"
Tunes That Rock (With Questionable Subject Matter): "Horilka" (Vodka), "Zillya Zelenenke" (The Little Green Herb), "Ya", "Koroleva Ne Pomerla", "M'yaso-Ubivstvo"
Tunes I Really Enjoy: "Polityka", "UkrainAmerica", "Kievskiy Express", "Horilka", "Europa", "Tsyhanochka", "Batyar", "Koroleva Ne Pomerla", "Spivaye Solovey".
P.S.: On a lighter note, whazzup with "in what is most likely Ukrainian"? DUUUH! They're called "THE UKRAINIANS" for a reason!!"